New Orleans Adjustment of Status Lawyers
Experienced New Orleans and Slidell immigration lawyers helping people across Louisiana
There are two ways immigrants can obtain lawful permanent resident status (green card status). If you are already present in the United States, usually through a temporary visa, you can apply for an adjustment of your status without having to return to your home country. If you are living in a foreign country when you apply for a green card, you must apply through your country’s consular process.
At the Law Office of James A. Graham, our New Orleans immigration lawyers help foreign nationals in New Orleans, Slidell, and across South Louisiana apply for an adjustment of their status. We’ll guide you step-by-step through the challenging but rewarding process by explaining each requirement. We anticipate many of the challenges that the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) immigration process presents.
How can we help?
- Am I eligible for an adjustment of status in New Orleans?
- Who can file the petition for adjustment of status in Louisiana?
- What happens at the Application Assistance Center (ASC) appointment?
- Do I need to attend an interview?
- What additional information may be required for an adjustment of status applicant in New Orleans?
- How do I learn if my adjustment of status request was accepted?
- What documentation is needed for my adjustment of status application?
- Do you have an immigration lawyer near me?
Am I eligible for an adjustment of status in New Orleans?
The first step our adjustment of status lawyers will review with you is whether you’re eligible for a green card. Green card eligibility requires that you fit into one of the following immigrant categories and meet the requirements of that categories. Our immigration lawyers in New Orleans and Slidell largely work with families and with folks who are here on employment-based visas, but other green card eligibility categories include:
- Green card as a special immigrant
- Green card through refugee or asylee status
- Green card for human trafficking and crime victims
- Green card for victims of abuse
- Green card through other categories
- Green card through registry
Eligibility through the adjustment of status process also requires that you be physically present in the US and already have an immigrant visa.
Who can file the petition for adjustment of status in Louisiana?
Normally, a sponsor who is a US citizen (or is a lawful permanent resident in Louisiana) files the request for adjustment of status. We’ll explain when the applicant can also file his/her own petition.
Generally, the application includes an immigrant petition and a green card petition.
There are many different types of immigration petition forms depending on your eligibility category and other factors. Most applicants use Form I-130. This is the petition that the sponsor (the US citizen or LPR) files on behalf of the immigrant. Form I-140 is the immigrant petition for alien workers. These other forms may also be used to obtain immigration petition approval:
- Form I-730, Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition
- Form I-589, Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal
- Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant
- Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur
- Form I-918, Petition of U Non-immigrant Status
- Form I-929, Petition for Qualifying Family Member of a U-1 Non-immigrant
Generally, you must have an approved immigration petition before you can file Form I-485. Form I-485 is the form used to adjust your status so you can become a lawful permanent resident.
Generally, you cannot file the Adjustment of Status Form I-485 until there is a visa available in your category. There are limits on the number of available family preferences each year, which are also subject to country caps.
The USCIS recommends that in addition to checking the Visa Bulletin website, you also check the Visa Availability and Priority Pages and the Adjustment of Status Filing Charts. We know these pages are very confusing. We’ll help you understand your eligibility status.
There may be some exceptions and additional conditions for both the immigration petition and the adjustment of status petition that we’ll explain.
What happens at the Application Assistance Center (ASC) appointment?
The USCIS will send you a notice after file Form I-485 is filed for a biometrics services appointment at a local Application Support Center (ASC). At the scheduled time and location, you will provide your fingerprints, photograph, and/or signature. Biometrics are used to verify your identity and conduct required background and security checks.
You’ll also be asked to sign an acknowledgment certifying that all the information in your application was complete, true, and correct at the time you filed it.
If, for some reason, you cannot make the appointment, we’ll help you reschedule your appointment, so your Form I-485 petition isn’t denied.
Do I need to attend an interview?
USCIS will determine if the applicant must attend an interview. If an interview is required, the applicant will be informed of the time and place of the interview. The sponsor/applicant will need to answer questions under oath about the information needed to support their I-485 petition. The sponsor/applicant will need to bring originals of the document used for their I-485 petition including “passports, official travel documents, and Form I-94, regardless if they are expired.”
What additional information may be required for an adjustment of status applicant in New Orleans?
Per the State Department, USCIS may ask for additional evidence if:
- You did not submit all the required evidence
- The evidence you submitted is no longer valid
- The officer needs more information to determine your eligibility.
The request notice will explain when and where you need to respond. We’ll assist you in obtaining and providing this necessary information. Not every applicant receives a request for additional evidence.
How do I learn if my adjustment of status request was accepted?
You can check the status of your adjustment of status petition online, by phone, and through TTY if you have a disability. USCIS recommends that you be ready to provide your receipt number, name, A-Number, and date of birth.
You’ll be notified by the USCIS in writing when the application is processed. If the application is approved, you’ll receive the approval and then your green card for lawful permanent resident status. If your application is denied, the USCIS will explain the reasons for the denial. Generally, you cannot appeal – but you may be able to ask for a reconsideration.
You may be able to file a new application for a green card if you return to your native country and apply from abroad.
What documentation is needed for my adjustment of status application?
Some information depends on your immigration category. For example, if you’re sponsoring a spouse, you’ll need to provide a marriage certificate, among other requirements.
A few common requirements include:
- Completion of the necessary forms
- An application fee
- A birth certificate
- Two recent passport-type photos
- A copy of your non-immigrant visa
- Biographical information
- Medical information confirming completion of an immigration medical examination and your vaccination history
- Form I-94 – Arrival/departure record
- Other necessary documentation
Family-immigration visas are often requested because a US citizen or LPR is engaged to a foreign national or wants to bring a child of either partner to America. Many employers and US businesses sponsor employees so they can work and live in America.
Do you have an immigration lawyer near me?
The Law Office of James A. Graham has two office locations in South Louisiana:
For clients who are unable to travel, we can schedule phone or video conferences when needed.
Contact our experienced New Orleans immigration lawyers today
We understand all the reasons why immigrants who come to New Orleans, Slidell, or Louisiana in general want to stay here. At the Law Office of James A. Graham, our immigrant lawyers are skilled at using the adjustment of status process to help people obtain their green cards. We’ll review each document you need and calmly and clearly guide you through all the paperwork and all the challenges of obtaining lawful permanent resident status. Please call us or fill out our contact form to schedule a consultation with an immigration lawyer in New Orleans or Slidell.